Ships and Memories: Merchant Seafarers in Canada's Age of Steam

By Eric W. Sager | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

It is little wonder that Canadians are fascinated by tales of ships and the sea. We live in one of the great coastal nations of the world. Our longest boundaries are along three great oceans -- the Arctic, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. Rivers run through the heart of the land, and some of our lakes are giant freshwater seas. About 7.6 per cent of our land mass is covered by fresh water. We are blessed with a very large share of the world's land and an even larger share of the world's fresh and salt water.

The sea is part of our history. Long before Europeans came to our shores, Native peoples sailed our coastlines in canoes and umiaks, and used the bountiful resources in our waters. In the Pacific Northwest, marine resources helped to sustain one of the largest non-agricultural concentrations of population in the world. Between 3,000 and 7,000 years ago, the marine resources of our Atlantic shores sustained the 'maritime archaic' people. There were many other marine hunters in our ancient history, and it was hardly an accident that the Vikings, who crossed the North Atlantic a thousand years ago, met another people who lived by the sea -- the Inuit, who had developed a sophisticated maritime-hunting way of life based on the use of skin-covered boats. Then, in the late 1400s and 1500s, other European newcomers

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Ships and Memories: Merchant Seafarers in Canada's Age of Steam
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Yarns 15
  • 2 - Going to Sea 29
  • 3 - Work 41
  • 4 - Officers and Masters 71
  • 5 - Class 85
  • 6 - Family 97
  • 7 - Masculinity 106
  • 8 - Hazards 118
  • 9 - War 126
  • 10 - Union 139
  • 11 - Canada 150
  • Notes 157
  • GLOSSARY 167
  • SOURCES AND COLLABORATORS 171
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 173
  • Index 177
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